Excluding political, the station group reported local core broadcast revenue was up 42%, while national net broadcast revenues climbed 23%.
Sinclair Broadcast Group reported today that in the three months ended Sept. 30 its net broadcast revenues from continuing operations increased 47.9% to $448.1 million, versus $303 million in the prior year period.
Operating income was $101.7 million, an increase of 39.6% versus $72.8 million in the prior year period. Net income was $48.3 million, versus $36.3 million a year earlier.
Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues and other broadcast revenues, were up 43.4% versus the third quarter of 2013, while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were up 64.2% versus a year ago.
Political revenues were $33.8 million versus $2.7 million in 3Q 2013.
Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues increased 41.9% and national net broadcast revenues increased 22.9%.
Sinclair said its fastest growing advertising categories included political, medical, telecommunications, furniture and drugs/cosmetics. Categories that declined were direct response, automotive, restaurants and fast food.
Sinclair President-CEO David Smith said: “This has been an active quarter with the expansion of our sports content offerings, strengthening our station portfolio, and solidifying our network relationships. We were also successful in opportunistically repurchasing 1.9 million shares of our common stock since our August earnings report, representing an approximate 9% return to our current share price.
“For 2014, we are on track to distribute to our shareholders, in the form of dividends paid and shares repurchased, approximately 50% of our 2014 as reported free cash flow.”